An Elkmont woman who lost her son is doing all the giving she can this holiday season.
Hope Gibson’s son, Landon, passed away in 2014.
Since then, Gibson has made it a Christmas tradition to give back to the community in memory of Landon.
This year, she plans to host a large Christmas meal for anyone who wants to attend.
“It’s about giving. That’s what we like to do on Christmas," said Hope Gibson.
Gibson and her family spend their Christmas day a little differently than most. This year, instead of sitting around the tree, unwrapping presents, they’ll be serving free, hot meals to strangers.
“It’s me, my husband, my mom, and my kids. We put it together and we made it happen," Gibson said.
And it’s all in memory of her son, Landon, who passed away in 2014.
“He was special needs. He was always in a wheelchair and had a feeding tube and stuff," she said. "They didn’t think he would live past 5 years old and he lived to be 13 years old.”
Even with that loss, Gibson considers her family blessed.
“Our family is lucky. We have what we need, so it’s just time for us to give back," she said.
In fact, this isn’t the first time Gibson’s family has given back to the community.
For five years, they’ve taken gifts to the hospital where Landon passed away.
“Sick kids in the hospital, we’ve been there," Gibson said. "We might not have been there on Christmas, but we’ve been there, and hospitals are no fun.”
Gibson expects the community Christmas meal to become another family tradition.
“We’ll all be together. It’s not like we’re in different places—we’re all together, but we’re doing for the community," she said. "So, it’s fun, we laugh, we cut up, we have friends who volunteer.”
Gibson says she plans to continue reaching out to help others for years to come.
“This is Christmas to us," she said.
The meal will be served at the Ole Gin House in Elkmont. Doors will open at 10:30 a.m. on Christmas Day and Gibson says they won’t close until all of the food is gone. She says they have enough for at least a couple hundred people and they won't turn anyone away.